Kansas Jayhawks 2014-15 team preview

Tuesday November 4th, 2014

The Jayhawks deal in whens, not ifs. When they sort out their rotation. When they lock down their defense. Coming off a 10th consecutive Big 12 regular-season title, Kansas again sits at the top of the conference, and it seems as if nothing has changed -- except so much has.

After losing three starters (including two top five NBA draft picks), the Jayhawks reloaded with three five-star recruits (bruising power forward Cliff Alexander, slashing swingman Kelly Oubre Jr. and Ukrainian sharpshooter Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk). Freshman Devonte Graham, a mere four-star prospect, will give Kansas its first true point guard in four seasons.

While coach Bill Self says, “Our guys aren’t that far apart, from a talent standpoint,” he takes pains to make one distinction clear: His best player won’t be one of the newcomers. It will be junior forward Perry Ellis, the team’s second-leading scorer (13.5 points per game) last year. Self hopes Ellis will add three to five points to his average while becoming a more vocal leader. “I am a real quiet guy,” says Ellis, “but when something needs to be said, I’m going to try to say [it].” He’s already counseled the younger Jayhawks about team chemistry. “When they figure it out,” Self says, “they’re going to get pretty good.”

Read all of SI.com's 2014-15 college basketball preview content

Projected top seven scorers

name

pos

class

ppg

rpg

apg

o-rating

Perry Ellis

F

Jr

16.1

7.7

1.3

126.9

Cliff Alexander

F

Fr

11.7

6.8

0.8

117.4

Wayne Selden

F

So

11.2

3.6

2.1

115.3

Kelly Oubre

F

Fr

10.6

4.4

1.2

117.4

Frank Mason

G

So

7.2

1.7

2.4

113.2

Brannen Greene

F

So

6.5

3.2

0.9

111.8

Devonte Graham

G

Fr

6.3

2.3

2.2

104.6

Projected Big 12 standings

rank

team

projected conf. record

2013-14 conf. record

1

Kansas

15-3

14-4

2

Texas

12-6

11-7

3

Iowa State

12-6

11-7

4

Kansas State

10-8

10-8

5

Oklahoma

10-8

12-6

6

Oklahoma State

8-10

8-10

7

Baylor

7-11

9-9

8

West Virginia

7-11

9-9

9

Texas Tech

5-13

6-12

10

TCU

4-14

0-18

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.